An Author’s Favorite Things

Contrary to popular belief, authors – yes, even romance authors – are not all enamored of boa-bottlefeather boas and champagne. Not that we’ll turn them down, mind you. It’s just that you won’t see them appearing on many authors’ wish lists.

What will you find? Many are predictable: great sales. Excellent contracts. Insightful editors and tenacious agents. Chocolate. Champagne (okay, so I sort of lied about that one.)

One thing that authors treasure, though, is reviews from readers. Trust me there is absolutely nothing that will make an author’s day/week/month like going to Amazon or Goodreads or Indigo and seeing that some awesome reader took a few minutes out of her busy day to leave a review.

Writing is a pretty solitary undertaking. Most of the time it’s just the author, her imagination. and possibly a cat, huddled away in their own little world, making things up and then remembering that – oops – those made-up things still need to make sense. This isn’t a rough gig by any means. Sometimes, however, it’s easy to develop Author Myopia – a condition in which the author can’t see past the keyboard and monitor. When you’re deep in edits and plots and character charts it’s easy to forget that there are real people out there who read the final product. Seeing a review can be a wonderful reminder that there are real live readers involved in the process.

There’s a practical reason, as well: sites such as Amazon use reviews and rankings to help decide which books will show up in your searches. The more reviews, the more likely a book is to be near the top of the list. Since visibility plays such a huge role in authors being discovered by new readers, this is a really important consideration.

So if you read a book that you love, consider letting the author know in the easiest way possible: pre-order her next book. Ooops! I mean, leave a review – on the site where you bought the book, on a reader forum such as Goodreads, on Facebook or your own blog or whatever. It will mean more to her than you will ever know.